This tasty single-serving sugar cookie recipe uses a few simple ingredients: a bowl, a parchment-lined baking sheet, and a wooden spoon. I make these cookies without an electric mixer or food processor; all you need is a wooden spoon for mixing. These small-batch sugar cookies are a bit bigger than most of my other cookie recipes because they go fast and keep nicely for a few days.

If you want something even smaller, then these single-serving butter cookies and small batch chocolate peanut butter snickerdoodles are for you!

orange sugar cookies on baking sheet

My easy sugar cookie recipe bakes 6 large cookies or 12 smaller cookies perfectly on a quarter-sheet pan. They are absolutely the best sugar cookies for the first-time baker, and the best part is that no stand mixer is needed!

Simple Ingredients

ingredients to make orange cookies
  • The ingredients for this easy recipe are basic, and you probably have almost everything in your pantry.
  • The fresh-squeezed orange juice can be substituted with 2 teaspoons of frozen orange juice, orange extract, or bottled orange juice. if you want a plain sugar cookie, leave out the orange juice.
  • You can substitute lemon or almond extract for a little different flavor.


  • You can frost the cooled cookies with a super easy sugar cookie frosting: combine room-temperature cream cheese, powdered sugar, orange extract, and vanilla extract. Use a wooden spoon to mix it all until smooth and creamy.
  • Or, try a simple royal icing by whisking together 1 egg and a teaspoon of lemon juice until frothy. I like to do this part with a small hand mixer on low speed. Gradually add a total of 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar until the icing is smooth and glossy. This simple icing is easy and tasty.
  • You can use cookie cutters to cut out these yummy homemade sugar cookies in different shapes.


Combine the softened butter, granulated white sugar, vanilla, and egg in a medium bowl. (you can substitute an egg yolk) Use a wooden spoon to mix all the ingredients thoroughly. Next, add the orange zest and orange juice to the butter mixture and mix until creamy and smooth.

Whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl. Use a wooden spoon and mix the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients.

Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

Remove from refrigerator and use a cookie scoop to form uniform-sized balls and place them on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.

Use the bottom of a glass lightly dusted with flour to press the cookie dough balls down to form a circle.

Place the baking sheet with the unbaked orange sugar cookies in the refrigerator while you preheat the toaster oven to 350° degrees Fahrenheit. Bake on the middle rack for 15-18 minutes or until light golden brown and have crispy edges.

More easy cookie recipes include my cream cheese cookies and the scrumptious chocolate fudgy cookies.

How to store the baked sugar cookies

The unfrosted baked cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature and will stay fresh for a couple of days. If you frost the cookies, you should refrigerate them for up to 2 days.


Can you freeze Sugar Cookies?

Yes, you can! Lay the cookies in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet and place them in the freezer until frozen. Transfer the frozen cookies into a Ziploc freezer-safe bag. You need to freeze them in a single layer so they don’t all freeze together.
Be sure to label and date the containers. Cookies can be frozen for u to a month. 

Why did my cookies spread out in the oven?

This happens when there is not enough flour to hold the melted butter. There isn’t much room for error in a small batch recipe, so measure out the flour exactly by spooning it into the measuring cup and leveling off with a knife.

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orange sugar cookies on a white plate.

Orange Sugar Cookies

Small batch orange sugar cookies recipe with a crispy edge and a softer center.
4.29 from 7 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 12 cookies (2 1/2inch diameter)
Calories: 284kcal
Author:Sydney Dawes


  • cup sugar
  • 5 tablespoons butter softened
  • 1 egg white lightly beaten
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract


  • In a medium bowl combines the butter, sugar, vanilla, and egg. Use a wooden spoon to thoroughly mix.
  • Mix in the orange zest and orange juice into the butter mixture.
  • In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  • Use a wooden spoon and mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
  • Cover bowl and place cookie dough in refrigerator and chill for 30minutes.
  • Remove from refrigerator and use a cookie scoop to form uniform-sized balls and place them on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
  • Use the bottom of glass, lightly dusted with flour, and press the cookie dough balls down to form a circle.
  • Place baking sheet with cookies in the refrigerator while you preheat the toaster oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Bake on middle rack for 15-18 minutes or until slightly brown around the edges.


Cream the Butter and Sugar: This is a key step. Creaming incorporates air into the dough, which makes the cookies light and tender. Do this until the mixture is light and fluffy, usually about 3-5 minutes.
Use Room Temperature Ingredients: All your ingredients should be at room temperature before you begin mixing. This helps the ingredients combine more evenly, preventing lumps.
Precise Measurements: Baking is a science, and using the right amounts of each ingredient is crucial. When measuring dry ingredients, use a spoon to fill your measuring cup, then level it off with a knife for the most accuracy.
Chill the Dough: This step is crucial for sugar cookies, especially if you plan to cut them into shapes. Chilled dough spreads less in the oven, so your cookies will keep their shape better. It also makes the dough easier to handle.
Use Parchment Paper or a Silicone Baking Mat: These will prevent your cookies from sticking to the baking sheet and help them bake more evenly. They also make cleanup easier!
Don’t Over-Bake: Sugar cookies should be taken out of the oven when they’re just barely starting to turn golden around the edges. They’ll continue to cook a bit from the residual heat, so this ensures they won’t be overdone.


Serving: 3cookies | Calories: 284kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 38mg | Sodium: 332mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 17g
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  1. I followed the recipe exactly and the dough spread into one giant cookie sheet cookie after only 10 minutes in the oven. I was able to salvage this disaster by quickly grabbing my cookie cutters and cutting into shapes. Something is definitely off in the ratio of butter to flour.

    1. Hi Linda,
      I’m sorry that happened to you.i’ve made this recipe several times and never had that happen! What method did you use to measure the flour?